[Note from the editors: The scheduled story on Canada’s Pagan community has been delayed until next week as the team gathers more information. This week, we resume our regular international news day with today’s story coming from our correspondent in the United Kingdom.]
LONDON — The ‘stone of London’ has been returned to its rightful place this autumn. But what’s the history behind this sooty old piece of oolitic limestone? Where has it been? And why is its return a matter of importance?
LONDON — An ancient temple to Mithras in the heart of the city of London was re-opened this month after a significant amount of renovation. The original temple was built in 240 A.D. by the Romans in order to honor the Middle Eastern god Mithras, who was popular among soldiers. It was not the only Mithraeum built in the UK; others include the Carrawburgh Mithraeum dated to the 3rd century Mithraeum,the Rudchester MIthraem on Hadrian’s Wall, and the Caernarfon Mithraeum in Wales, which was featured in the Merlin series of novels written by Mary Stewart. These temples, like the one in London, were all situated underground. In 2010, the Bloomberg company opened its new European headquarters on the very site on which the original London Mithraeum had once been.
LONDON — The English capital city saw a number of terrorist incidents on the night June 3, when 8 people were killed and 48 injured. The three identified attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, and then got out repeatedly stabbing people in nearby Borough Market before being shot dead by police. Since the attacks, the mood in London – a city that endured bombings throughout WWII and by the IRA campaigns later in 20th century – remains calm and defiant. Citizens have been taking to social media to deny that the population is in shock. The Pagan presence in London is considerable, and the area around Borough Market is of special interest to many of them, because it contains the Crossbones Cemetery, a Medieval burial ground for prostitutes and the outcast dead.
[Columnist Christina Oakley Harrington is our talented columnist based in London. She is one of the team members who has assisted in expanding our coverage beyond U.S. borders. If you enjoy reading her work, consider donating to our Wild Hunt Fall Fund Drive. We are completely reader-funded, so it is you that makes it all possible! So, donate today and help keep The Wild Hunt going for another year.
England is small, green and – apart from a bit in the East – rolling. So hills are plentiful. English Pagans are great clamberers up these hills. However it’s less than half of all sunrises that we will see from these green and luscious vantage points, because the sky is clear so rarely. We stand attentively and enraptured; though a little disappointed on those many visits when the overcast British ‘sunrise’ is actually just a gradual lightening of the sky from a dark grey to light grey over a slow meditative hour.